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As the year winds down, it’s time to look ahead and plan for the new one. With this in mind, I’ll be posting 5 articles this week for the ‘Plan your Blog’ series. Today is Day 1 and I am talking about a bullet journal for bloggers and why it’s important.

Being organised is the key to being productive. I found that once I started implementing the strategies I outline in this post, my blogging became more streamlined and so did my social media.

Plan your Blog- Bullet Journal for Bloggers- White open notebook placed on table next to a flower and a pen

Do you need a bullet journal?

I’m a big planner junkie and that is true of stationery too. That said, let me be clear. Yes, you need a bullet journal. No, you don’t need a high-end fancy version to make this work.

A lot of bullet journals online will have beautiful doodles and drawings and are absolutely spectacular to view. For me, though, the functionality of the journal is more important than anything else.

For that same reason, I tell people starting off that they just need a simple notebook, preferably un-ruled, to use as their journal.

So, yes, if you’re a blogger, I highly recommend that you invest in a simple notebook and call it your bullet journal.


Why do you need a bullet journal for bloggers?

Until late this year, I had a single bullet journal for my work, home, blog and personal tasks. But the minute I set up a dedicated bullet journal for my blog, it made things so much easier and everything related to the blog is in one place. I am not scrambling through my notes, trying to find it.

Today, I’m sharing tips on how you can set up your bullet journal for your own blog, while keeping the vision for your blog in mind.


Setting up your Bullet Journal

Your Bullet journal is the key to creating an overall content strategy, marketing strategy and monetization strategy for your blog.

Open your brand-new journal. On the first page, title it ‘Index’ and list the following:

  1. Monthly Goals
  2. Weekly Goals
  3. Daily Goals
  4. Budget for the Blog
  5. Reports

Add the page numbers against each item. At the end of the month, create a fresh index page and repeat the steps below.


Monthly Page Spread

Now that the bullet journal is ready to go, let’s begin with the first monthly spread. This is where you will be creating the vision for the month ahead.

  • Open the first two-page spread
  • Use the left page to broadly describe what you will focus on
  • Use the right page to note down specific focus items.
  • Once complete, tick off or cross off the completed tasks

Here are the key questions to ask yourself when creating your vision:

  • What am I going to blog about?
  • How can I make this interesting?
  • How much content can I manage to create?
  • What niche/topics do I want to focus on this month?

Answering these questions will give you a clear idea on how to plan your month for the blog.

For example, my vision for the month of January is growth. I’d like to grow my blog, my subscribers and my client base. So what would I need to do to make it happen?

Accordingly, I will work on the following:

  • An Editorial Calendar
  • Stats Tracker for my Blog and Social Media channels
  • Social Media Calendar (For Twitter/Instagram/Facebook/Pinterest)
  • Courses to Study (Based on my theme of the month: Growth)
  • Fixing Old Posts
  • Approximate time I can devote to the above per day and thus, per month.

Weekly Page Spread

Now that your vision is ready and your editorial calendar is ready, let’s get to the next step: the weekly plan.

Every month has 4 weeks, so set up 4 pages, one dedicated to each week.

I want you to visualise a funnel, going from the broad to the specific. Our monthly journal was a set of broad goals. We’re now breaking it down into weekly chunks, narrowing it down, so to speak.

How many of those goals can you manage to achieve each week is the question you should ask yourself.

As you can tell from the image above, I’ve not just mentioned posts. I’ve said ‘Two posts per week’. You can decide the number that makes you comfortable. Which days should you devote to writing on your blog? Again, that depends on your schedule.

Figure out how much time you take to put together a blog post. Then study your week to pick your best days for content creation.

Similarly, instead of just ‘social media’, I’ve specified Twitter as the platform for the week. So I will schedule content out for that channel accordingly.


Daily Page Checklist

We’re at the end of the funnel and as specific as we can get now. Take the content from your monthly and weekly pages and filter them to get your daily list.

On Instagram the other day I mentioned that the reason most of us don’t get things done is because we put too many things on our checklist for the same day.

Instead, if you could keep it simple, things become a completely different ball game.

See the image above? I have listed exactly 4 tasks for the day. Of those 4, the first 3 are the most important. That means if I don’t get time to fix the SEO of an old post, I will move that task to the next day.

Since I won’t be publishing a blog post daily (except for this particular week, of course), I won’t have that task on my agenda for the next day. Instead, I can substitute it with ‘Engage with my audience’ or ‘Visit other blogs’ or ‘Study my blog analytics’.


Budget and Reports

At the end of the month, have a dedicated page to track your budget for the month gone by.


For a comprehensive understanding of how to plan your budget for your blog, read this tutorial: How to plan a budget for your blog.

Next, create a reports page on your blog and social media channels’ performance and look for areas that can use improvement.

Create a fool-proof Social Media strategy for your blog using these 10 simple steps.


Now that you’ve read the post, here’s what you can work on.

Task for you:

  1. Buy a journal/ notebook/ bullet journal this week.
  2. Create your monthly goals for the following month.
  3. Chalk out what needs to be done to move your blog towards those goals
  4. List out weekly action steps
  5. Draft a daily checklist for the first week.
  6. Plan your blog budget for the following month.

Every blogger needs a bullet journal. It helps you stay organised, keep all your ideas in one place, plan for your month, week and day, keep track of your blog budget and so much more. Read this tutorial on how to use the bullet journal to keep track of all your blogging tasks. #Shailajav #BulletJournal #BloggingTips #BuJo

That was the first post in the ‘Plan your Blog’ Series. Let me know if you found it useful. I love feedback and work on it for all my content, future and past.

Don’t forget to come back tomorrow to check out the next post in the series: How to Set Up or improve your Blog for Success

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Comments

comments


10 Comments

Anshu Bhojnagarwala · December 17, 2018 at 12:30 pm

Super duper post. Taking a leaf out of your post – have made a new excel sheet (am more comfortable with it) and made new sheets for each goal. Now, need to take out time before 31st and finalise my monthly goals (blog post titles, social media calendar, which posts to reassess and redo). Thanks Shailaja for this post!

Shilpa Gupte · December 17, 2018 at 12:59 pm

It feels so good to see how much more similar we are, Shy!
RIght since I started Metanoia, I have maintained a diary, where I plan the blogposts for the month, the various topics I can write about, the topics I need to write about/share on FB Page, and a timetable for all my blogging related activities. And, following this planning has made a lot of difference coz I know then that I am working on all the categories of my blog as well as art and that I am not facing a burnout. There are days for every activity which helps me pay attention to it all. Now, I just need to start working on Pinterest again as the Fb Page audience has increased significantly since I started following your guidelines for the same.

Super post, Shailaja! How very helpful for everyone here! <3
Shilpa Gupte recently posted…Live in the moment.My Profile

Sanch · December 17, 2018 at 3:48 pm

This is very helpful Shy! While I’m not blogging as much, I think some of this would still be useful for 2019 to continue to build the website and my community
Sanch recently posted…Book Review: Reasons to stay alive by Matt HaigMy Profile

Sthuti Panigrahy Singh · December 17, 2018 at 6:52 pm

Such a useful and very well detailed information Shailaja.Thank you for this.

Vinitha · December 18, 2018 at 2:29 am

This is a very useful post, Shailaja. Considering how bad my plans and goals were going this year, I have decided not to slack off again in the name of anything in 2019. I have already started planning and this post would act as a wonderful guide to carry out the rest of the details which I might’ve missed. I’m not exactly good when it comes to social media interactions. Thanks for taking time to share this post.

Ramya Abhinand · December 18, 2018 at 7:44 am

Perfect shailaja… I love the way you have presented it. I do maintain a journal for my blogging and reading combined( though i must confess it isnt as organised as what you have shared out here :)… I have separate sections for what I have read, what needs to be reviewed and also the books that are soon to be published. What I shall take out of her is that, despite have a schedule written down, I havent got a long term vision chalked out. At the most, it is for a month.

2019, will look deeper into this.

Dr Shivangi · December 19, 2018 at 7:25 am

I have been listing the blog posts for the month only recently, but that was in excel sheet. However, this bullet journal will help me plan my blog for the entire month and bring those steps down to small daily tasks. Thanks for this post. It will reduce my work log a lot.
Dr Shivangi recently posted…5 Common Childhood Diseases that Require Surgical TreatmentMy Profile

Ishieta · January 2, 2019 at 12:26 pm

I love the idea of a bullet journal and this is a good and well organized way to get started.
Ishieta recently posted…Numerology Predictions – January 2019 #IsheeriaMy Profile

Shantala · January 10, 2019 at 12:20 am

You know your posts, especially these kind of planning ones, make my Type A heart very happy? This is pretty much the exact system I follow. With one exception.

I chart out my goals, and then translate it to my action items. For the year, then for the first quarter, then the month, and then the weeks. This much I have aced. But I am not the best at translating the weekly tasks into daily ones. I need to get better at that.

As always, a very helpful post, Shy. Especially for ones who are new to planning.
Shantala recently posted…My Reading Goals for 2019My Profile

Email Marketing Plan: 3 Fantastic Ways to Use it for your Blog · December 21, 2018 at 12:17 pm

[…] Day 1’s post : Why you need a Bullet Journal for your Blog […]

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